I think most has been said re suspension and cambelt service.
I bought mine because a couple of months previous I bought on a whim (almost) a '97 Spider. The Spider is gorgeous with the 2.0 TS engine. Alfa petrol engines sound very nice.
Anyway I bought the GT but was considering a 159 2.4 diesel, a 2004 CLK 270CDi, Passat and an A4 Cab.
My GF loves the GT so it kind of pushed me in that direction.
I love the looks (though I now think rosso or a silver would have been better than black). I have 17" alloys (no idea of the name) which do suit it well. Grey leather interior (with a Liquidleather
air freshener) smells and looks the dogs
. As you say the spec is quite impressive and the Blaupunkt stereo in mine sounds OK. I do not intend to remap (though many say I should) as for me there is plenty enough power and I have currently two weekend cars anyway.
I hate the ride though on anything but dual carriageways and motorways I find it a bit crashy and hard. I have purchased new drop links (need to fit them) as there is a knocking sound from the front.
That is my only criticism of the car but I am old now
so perhaps my back is just not upto it like it was. The ride in both my weekend cars is actually better
or maybe I am not in them as much so forget!
Lastly I do about 150 miles a week on 'A' roads and motorways about 50/50 and get 40mpg out of the 1.9 M-jet. I used to get about 37mpg out of my old Rover 25 1.6 petrol, though that was in warmer weather so probably not the best comparison. I'm told diesels take longer to warm up, so on not so long journeys like mine they are not as good as you might expect? I still don't like the noise a diesel makes and this 4-pot is no exception. I did get a ride in a 2.4 Brera and that sounds sooo much better IMO. Very quick too but then a bit **** on economy from all accounts (friend from Yorkshire has a 159 and hates the MPG).